After suffering through two extremely difficult summers, amusement parks saw more visitors flock through their gates last year. And operators are expecting that 2011 will result in additional visitors and revenue as the busy season approaches. To generate this traffic, operators in the theme park industry will likely boost their marketing budgets.
Theme Park Industry Marketing
Theme park industry operators market heavily to consumers with ticket price offers that range from $35 to $50, though some operators like Disney World and Universal Orland charge significantly more than those prices. Additional revenue generators in the theme park industry include concession and souvenir sales. While summer is typically the busiest time for the theme park industry, operators are looking to extend their seasons. Those with facilities located in southern regions advertise on a year-round basis.
But this year, theme park industry watchers expect advertising to emphasize flexibility and new entertainment features. For example, many operators are promoting season-long and multiple day passes. Parks that survived the recession also realize that consumers are looking for the newest kind of entertainment. As a result, Six Flags New England will advertise its new steel roller coaster “Gotham City” while Six Flags Ft. Louis in Missouri will market the “SkyScreamer.” Out West, California-based Knott’s Berry Farm will entice consumers with “WindSeeker” which offers gondolas that climb a 301-foot tower. And Florida visitors will be able to spend a day at the 150 acre Legoland Florida. A common theme for this year’s new attractions has been appealing to families instead of young adults. As a result, water rides that seat four people are popular. In addition, many theme park operator are jointly market their entertainment offerings with lodging and restaurant partners.
According to Gary Slade, editor and publisher of Amusement Today, a trade publication, “Everybody is beyond positive.” This new energy and the investments that have been made in facilities will likely translate to a significant increase in advertising budgets for 2011.[Sources: U.S. Parks and Attraction to Unveil Exciting New Experiences. 28 Feb. 2011. IAAPA.org. Web. 3 May 2011; Seewer, John. Amusement park attendance up in 2010, outlook good for 2011. 19 Apr. 2011. USAToday.com. Web. 3 May 2011]